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Members Of Utah Jazz Organization Comment On George Floyd, Protests, Racism

(L-R) Mike Conley Jr. and Mary Peluso Conley attend the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Turner Sports)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Members of the Utah Jazz organization recently commented on the death of George Floyd, local protests in Salt Lake City, and racism.

Floyd was a black man who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Comments were not only made by team officials but by players of the Jazz and their family members.

Utah Jazz Players

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert posted about his frustration after seeing video of the incident between Floyd and the policeman.

“If you let your coworker do that to another human being without trying to stop him or talk to him out of it, you are as guilty as he is,” Gobert tweeted. “Frustrating for the majority of good cops that take a lot of risk doing their job the right way every day.”

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell shared a photo that highlighted a quote by actor Will Smith that read “Racism is not getting worse, it’s getting filmed.”

“I woke up and saw this! So true,” Mitchell wrote.

Mitchell also commented after a man in opposition to protestors in Salt Lake City was seen with a bow and arrow.

Rookie guard Rayjon Tucker said, “White people as a race ARE NOT the problem. RACISM is the problem. Don’t put a stigma on the whole race because of a few ignorant people! But this HAS TO be dealt with in one way or another.”

“This gotta stop,” said Jazz and Salt Lake City Stars forward Jarrell Brantley.

Jazz and Stars guard Justin Wright-Foreman replied to a tweet from President Donald Trump.

“So we gonna keep allowing the killings of African Americans and nothing be done?” tweeted Wright-Foreman.

Family & Franchise Executives

Mary Conley, the wife of Jazz guard Mike Conley, posted about the current social and political climate regarding racism. Mike and Mary have been married since 2014 and have two children. The Jazz guard’s wife shared her thoughts on teaching her children about racism.

“I don’t typically speak on social or political issues, but I know staying silent is not going to help or make a difference. I am ashamed that this behavior continues in our country. Being married to a black man and raising sons has me in more fear than I ever imagined. Racism happens in more ways than we realize, it’s not all on the news but it’s happening every day. I’m struggling with how to explain racism to our children and to teach them how to comply with law officials and what the consequences may be if they don’t. I know now what I can do is speak up. We cannot pretend we are all the same and that we don’t see color, even if that’s how we feel and what we want to see. We need to be proud of the different shades of Americans and treat everyone equally regardless of their color and maintain our humanity.” – Mary Conley


Mary Lereve Conley

(Courtesy of Mary Lereve Conley (@livinglereve) on Instagram)

Steve Starks, the CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, who helps oversee organizations like the Jazz shared his feelings on Floyd’s death and its impact in his company and community.

“Like you, I have felt deep sorrow about the death of George Floyd and the accompanying hurt it has caused in our communities and country. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident and people are tired and angry,” Starks posted. “May we be united and rise above injustice, division, and hate of any kind. And may we expect our leaders to appeal to the best within us, promote peace, and ensure the fair and equitable distribution of law and justice.”

Salt Lake City Protests

On Saturday, May 30, protesters gathered near Vivint Smart Home Arena, the home of the Jazz, in downtown Salt Lake City. The congregating protesters, like many others across the United States, were in response to Floyd’s death and racism.

During the late afternoon, protests in Salt Lake City turned violent and multiple vehicles were lit on fire including a police vehicle.

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